Semi-Carbonic Maceration

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

semi-carbonic maceration, winemaking process which involves a short carbonic maceration phase followed by a normal alcoholic fermentation. In such wines, winemakers rely upon an initial period of maceration of the grapes in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) atmosphere, followed by crushing, pressing, and then traditional fermentation of the resultant must. The great majority of Beaujolais nouveau and most other primeur wines are made in this fashion. Such wines have a very distinct aroma reminiscent of bananas or kirsch, arising from the distinctive by-products of the intracellular fermentation occurring within the whole berries and without yeast, during the first phase.